The deadline for the all-India admission process is May 25 and the state will now move the Supreme Court to seek an extension for Maharashtra. The state is buying time to bring in an ordinance to placate students who have been protesting to get the 16% Maratha quota implemented. The government finds its hands tied as the model election code of conduct is in force till May 19, the last phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Experts said if the Supreme Court does not grant permission to the state to extend the deadline, all 1,347 PG medical seats in Maharashtra are likely to go vacant. “The state has requested us to stay the entire process for a week,” confirmed CET cell commissioner Anand Rayate.
Head of Directorate of Medical Education and Research Dr T P Lahane said, “The state will seek extension of the deadline for admission and find a solution for Maratha students.” The state had also written to the Director of Medical Services to cancel the all-India admissions as some Maratha students had given up all-India seats in hope of getting admissions in Maharashtra. However, the central body turned down the proposal.
The postgraduate medical course admission process began on May 2. About 250 Maratha students obtained seats through the 16% Maratha quota under the Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) Act but on May 5, they were informed that their admissions were cancelled, despite having paid full fees and joined duties.“The admissions were cancelled as the HC scrapped the Maratha quota for the process. These students need to be accommodated,” said Dr Lahane.
Since the admissions were cancelled, Maratha as well as open category students have been protesting, one group for the reservation and the other against. Former Mumbai vicechancellor B Mungekar met the Maratha students on Tuesday to lend them support. General category students, who are against the reservation, said they tried to meet various authorities and requested them not to stay the admission process. “Every door we knocked, we were asked to go meet some other authority. Most from the Socially and Economically Backward Class will anyway get admission in the open merit, then why delay the process for a handful of students?” asked Sudha Shenoy, a representative of the students’ association.
The state has 1,972 seats, of which 950 were given for the all-India quota, admissions for which have been conducted. Of the 950 all-India quota seats, 325 have been surrendered. A total of 659 postgraduate medical seats are in private colleges.